Web Video: Valkyr Studios
aka: Rather Vocalized Illusion
Val'Kyr Studios is a commentary/comedy group centered around Youtube and Tumblr, run by five members across North America: Bhaalspawn and Renegade, in Nova Scotia; NintendoGal, in Quebec; and Wolfenangel, in Texas.
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Rather Vocalized Illusion
You can see the show here
- Actually Pretty Funny: Bhaalspawn takes a serious attitude through most videos, but often slips a gag or visual pun into his narration that gets much attention in the comments section. YMMV on whether the jokes are actually funny or just groan-inducing.
- Angrish: Bhaal has moments where he stutters out of sheer shock.
- This has been averted in newer videos, where his editing and public speaking has drastically improved.
- Bhaal seems to have an intense loathing and simultaneous dismissal for 4Chan and Reddit. Though the same can be said for everyone who doesn't frequent the two message boards.
- Ascended Fan:
- Ethan Anderson (AKA The Psychosocialist) was a big fan of the show, then Peet asked him to collaborate on a few videos. The two worked on the channel together until recently.
- Brittany Johnson became a recurring character in the Ask Bhaalspawn Webcomic.
- Small-time Troper Blake Diamond became a member of the group after starting a Confessions blog for the show on Tumblr.
- Blake was subsequently kicked out for numerous violations of the rules of the studio.
- Asexuality: Bhaal has no reproductive instinct, and no sex drive whatsoever.
- This is becoming more and more transparent with each passing day, with some viewers speculating whether or not Jerry uses the term "Asexual" as a synonym for "Celibate".
- Badass Boast:
- Subverted in a side video, where Bhaal attempts to taunt Bronies. See Tempting Fate below.
- All members of Val'Kyr Studios have had at least one in some form or another.
- Ban on Politics:
- Initially, Jerry refused to cover political subject matter. This ban was lifted in 2012 and has been the primary content for the show since.
- Berserk Button:
- Never mention love to The Psychosocialist.
- While not flying into a rage, Bhaal nuked himself upon learning of the Baldur's Gate Pony Mod.
- Bloody Hilarious: Early episodes often featured the drawn Bhaal character brutalizing other sprites with absurd weapons with often gory outcomes.
- Character Tics: Try to find a recent video where Bhaal isn't brushing his hair back.
- Converted Fanboy: Of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Crossover: Doomsday Ascending shares continuity with Peet's other rather large fanfic, Tale Of The Valkyrie.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Psychosocialist goes around wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask, Proudly listens to heavy metal artists such as Disturbed, Korn and Ozzy Osbourne, Wears all black (with few exceptions) and in videos is shown to be a cynical, dark individual.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very much so for both Bhaal and Psycho.
- Devil's Advocate: Bhaal sees no reason to become part of the recent gamer crusade against Electronic Arts (though this might possibly be due to EA owning BioWare).
- Bhaal actually plays Devil's Advocate numerous times throughout the show.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Season 1 episodes always opened with a big orchestral score in the title sequence.
- Fan Dumb: Jerry is one of the few web producers to disown his entire fanbase.
- Gay Moment: Constantly, especially if the words "Hayden Christensen" come up in a sentence.
- Handicapped Badass: Peet cannot see out of one of his eyes, is partially deaf in one ear, and has nerve damage in one leg. He was granted this title by several commenters.
- Hannibal Lecture: Many of Peet's responses to negative comments turn out this way.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Bhaal frequently speaks with an unseen and silent assistant that seems to stand just offscreen in newer videos. Oftentimes asking for help in remembering lines.
- Humans Are Bastards: It does not take very many episodes to gather that Bhaal has a severe distaste for humanity in general.
- Insane Troll Logic:
- Bhaal once tried to compare Bronies to Homosexuals in terms of persecution.
- He later retracted this statement saying that it was beyond insane.
- Jump Scare: Several episodes have had screamers or startling images inserted in them. Many are designed to be comical rather than scary, others use Rule 34 as the imagery.
- Killed Mid-Sentence:
- One episode had Bhaal knocked out while talking so the Psychosocialist could hijack the show (a second time).
- Bhaal was cut off in a rant about plot holes in his second episode on Brony Culture by the editing software.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Bhaalspawn is very rude, smug, snarky, cynical, and oftentimes insulting to his audience. Jerry is laid-back, respectful, and very nice to those who reach him outside of his show or blog.
- No Fourth Wall: Bhaal is always talking directly to the audience, never to other characters outside of gags.
- Noodle Incident: Bhaal (and Peet in real life) quickly changes the subject when anyone asks about the "Bhaal/Psycho Slash Fic."
- Oh, Crap: The Psychosocialist's reaction right before Bhaal beats him for hijacking his show.
- Oh Crap! There Are Fanfics of Us...: The confessions blog has opened the doors for fanfiction to be written about the team.
- Only Sane Man: Bhaal's presentation style and highly critical view of society takes this approach.
- PC vs. Console: Bhaal is an exclusive PC Gamer, stating there is no current generation console exclusive game in existence that has made him want to purchase a console.
- Rousing Speech
Jerry: You want to claim to be "Pro Life"? Why don't you go help the poor, feed the hungry, heal the sick. Why don't you target the parents who disown and abandon their children for being gay/lesbian/bisexual/ect. Why don't you work to end war, instead of propagate it. If you're so Pro Life, why do many of your supposed allies viciously defend the Constitutional Amendment that does nothing but ENDANGER life?
Why become the very thing that had you in it's cross-hairs not two years ago. I said in the last video that I'd like to be wrong about fans and fandom. The same thing is said here. Normally I'd be inclined to think that a webcomic played for laughs is of no harm and wouldn't affect the mentality of the people who view it but... I'm not so sure anymore, the evidence proves otherwise. Bronies, you should... no that's not right, we should know better than this
. We should
be better than this. We can
be better than this, so why aren't we?
- Rule34: During a series of videos on Bronies, Bhaal often inserted Rule 34 images into his videos as a method of revenge.
- Running Gag:
- TACTICAL NUKE! INCOMING!
- Bhaal seems to have a habit of forgetting names of characters, settings, and even whole websites, often asking for help from an unknown and silent person offscreen.
- Shipping: Over half of the questions that have been posted on the Confessions Blog have been shipping confessions. From the sane (Bhaal/Brittany, Bhaal/Tara), to the fanatical (Bhaal/Blake, Brittany/Tara), to ones that don't make sense (Brittany/Blake, NintendoGal/Blake), to just plain crack ships (Bhaal/Twilight Sparkle, Bhaal/Gardevoir).
- Squee: Bhaal did this several times in a row in Part 1 his Brony Culture episode.
- Stroke the Beard: The Psychosocialist does this a LOT.
- Sturgeon's Law: Bhaal applies this to Anime, Bronies, 4Chan, Americans and Modern Music as validation for hating them.
- Sweet Dreams Fuel: In his review of Cupcakes and Sweet Apple Massacre, in the midst of all the creepy and disturbing imagery used for the visual aids, Peet inserts a picture of Fluttershy waking up◊ with the caption You guys are probably horrified and uncomfortable right now, so here's something cute.
- Tempting Fate: Bhaal taunts Bronies after recieving an e-mail warning from them, only to immediately have an Atomic Rainnuke dropped on his head.
- The Wiki Rule: There is a Wiki for this show here.
- Peet has designed several video games with RPG Maker, but the general public has very little knowledge about them. The first of these games, based on Tale of the Valkyrie, has an article on the show's Wiki here.
- White Knighting: Bhaal does this in the Ask Bhaalspawn blog, where mistreatment of the character of Brittany is met with his fury... unbridled fury.
- He also White Knighted the entire company of BioWare in one episode of the web series.
- More recently, White Knighted the character of Anakin Skywalker in a current RVI.
- You Are What You Hate: Said this almost word-for-word to the Anti-Bronies in part 1 of his 2-part Brony Culture vid.
- You Cannot Kill An Idea: The entire focus of the show.
I'm Bhaalspawn. This has been Rather Vocalized Illusion. Thanks for watching.
In A Minute
The series centered around riffing Television, Movies, and pretty much anything else that can be riffed. Jerry takes an episode of a show or movie and cuts it to about 4-5 minutes cracking jokes the whole way through.
- Accentuate the Negative: Jerry does this almost universally, pointing out the stupid or otherwise ridiculous aspects of whatever he happens to be riffing.
- Bilingual Bonus: Jerry briefly starts singing the Pinata Song in fluent Spanish in Bats in Three Minutes.
- Jerry sings an entire string of the Skyrim Theme in Draconic in Dragon Quest in Two Minutes.
- Black Comedy Rape: This reminds me of when my sister used to play Doctor. Only I'm not in the fetal position and crying.
- Cluster F-Bomb: While Jerry tends to limit himself to two or three swears per episode, Snowdrop in Three Minutes is loaded with F-Bombs and other swears.
- Credits Gag: Both Return of Harmony videos contain considerable well edited recreations of the Star Trek and Star Wars credits.
- Secret Of My Excess In Two Minutes ends with Jerry singing Nations of the World.
- Friend to All Children: A meta example, Jerry is far more patient and kind with his viewers if he has reason to believe they're kids.
- Something Completly Different: Frozen in Nine Minutes is the only one that has nothing to do with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
Glass of Water
The spiritual successor to Rather Vocalized Illusion. You can see the show here
- Expy: The show takes inspiration from Creator/Bob Chipman's The Big Picture and Web Video/Jimquisition
- Fan Dumb: A recurring topic of the show.
Tale of the Valkyrie
A long and multi-universal series of adventure stories written by Jerry Peet and Cassie Chevrier.
- Academy of Adventure: The Val'Kyr Capital houses a training academy for their young, and students are often sent into battle with their teachers.
- The Earthen War is this in spades, as every Val'Kyr was called to arms regardless of age.
- Action Girl: Most female Val'Kyr are this.
- Aerith and Bob: The names of the Val'Kyr include names like Ascentia, Xebre, Tolrah, and Kalthi. Their leaders are named Matthew and Megan.
- Affectionate Nickname: Ascentia's wife likes to call her "Kitten."
- Ambiguously Evil: Lord Ryder is a highly unpleasant person in most iterations and installments. His list of war crimes during the Earthen War alone puts him well above the likes of Stalin and Hitler. However he is also characterized as a dedicated family man, a stressed leader, and someone who believes in a firm yet gentle hand for his people.
- The actual mortality of Lord Ryder is determined on whether the Val'Kyr are at war or not.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Lord Ryder and Ascentia Kortai are the largest figures of authority despite there being another Val'Kyr as the supreme leader, mostly by their respect as war heroes among other Val'Kyr.
- Awesome but Impractical
- Val'Kyr rage shifts embody the user with enough raw power to devestate entire continents. However, this only really happens during an adrenaline rush, which means the already powerful Val'Kyr have encountered something strong enough to make them fear for their own lives. And since the rage shift can leave a Val'Kyr completely drained when it ends, they have to kill their target or they are doomed.
- Fel Magic is incredibly powerful, however using it drains the caster's life, making it nearly suicidal.
- Badass Crew: Lord Ryder, Ascentia, and Tolrah.
- Berserk Button: Never attack anybody that Lord Ryder considers family. Even if that person is far stronger than him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Even very friendly Val'Kyr like Master Tolrah are some of the most deadly and dangerous creatures in the galaxy.
- Big Bad: Athena.
- Bury Your Gays: Subverted, as bisexuality is very common among the Val'Kyr. Many high ranking Val'Kyr (Ascentia, Tolrah, Aiden and Kalthi) are openly gay.
- Chainmail Bikini: Averted, as all armor among the Val'Kyr is perhaps a little too practical (constructed from metal that is heavy enough to make an entire suit of it weigh 700lbs).
- Chewing the Scenery: Ascentia's confession of slaughtering the citizens of Ponyville in Siege of Canterlot is surprisingly similar to Anakin's similar confession in Attack of the Clones.
- Darker and Edgier: The series does this with it's crossover universe. See Massively Multiplayer Crossover below.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Humanity destroys a statue of Jaina Ryder and kills twelve Val'Kyr. Lord Ryder takes his entire army and wipes out all of Humanity in retailiation.
- Emotional Powers: Cryokinesis is largely influenced by the emotional state of it's user. Positive emotions, such as contentment, happiness, or love keep it under control. While negative emotions, such as rage or fear, cause it to become chaotic and unwieldy.
- Lord Ryder to Anakin Skywalker, Arthas, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Darth Sidious.
- Ascentia to Kreia, Captain Janeway, and Commander Shepard.
- Peet has also used the phrase "What if Lauren Faust was a Death Knight" to describe the basic idea behind Ascentia, as well as use it as a comical defense against criticism of the character on the basis of how "awesome" the mere idea sounds.
- Tolrah to Elsa. Right down to the ice powers.
- April Fyon to Pinkie Pie, Larxene, and Loki
- Eviler Than Thou: Adagio to King Dainn. Well, not neccesarily more evil, but FAR more competent.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The Val'Kyr have the power to "Necrotise" an entire race at once, turning them into undead, mindless slaves to be used as Cannon Fodder. It's considered so morbid that Lord Ryder has only ever ordered it to be used on one occasion, and that occasion wasn't even canonical.
- Happily Married
- Lord Ryder and Megan Ryder
- Ascentia Kortai and her unnamed wife.
- Aiden Ryder and his husband.
- Knight of Cerebus: As horrible as King Dainn is, he is still very clearly outclassed by The Val'kyr, with his hedonistic regime even being described as "A house of cards simply begging for a strong gust of wind." Adagio however is a far more cunning and dangerous villain and she quickly establishes herself as the real threat in her first appearance. Easily dominating Dainn and making plans to take out the Val'kyr. It doesn't hurt that Lord Ryder is absolutely terrified of the Sirens.
- Kudzu Plot
- Made of Indestructium: Saronite, the metal that most of the Val'Kyr's weapons, armor, and structures are constructed from, is not only incredibly dense and resistant to heat, cold and impact, but is also incredibly carcenogenic in it's raw form to mortals.
- Mama Bear: Any female character that has Val'Kyr powers and loved ones is this.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The galaxy is drawn out in such a way that any work of fiction in the real world has some sort of representation in the franchise's universe. Peet has admitted that keeping track of all of this tends to get so difficult he's resorted to drawing up a Galaxy Map for his own sake.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Lord Ryder.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
- Ascentia and Ryder fighting before the former's death, after Ascentia's deteriorating mental health leads Ryder to have to put her down.
- Ascentia's rage shift leads to a spectacular beatdown on King Dainn, throwing him up and down the countryside.
- One-Hit Kill: Fel Magic.
- Parental Substitute: Val'Kyr Masters are this to their apprentices.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Ascentia's slaughter of Ponyville.
- Pet Monstrosity: Ascentia's pet spider, Maexxna.
- Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Ascentia slowly slipping into brutality is one of the primary subplots of The Siege of Canterlot. While Ryder and Tolrah are assisting Princess Luna in a rebellion, Ascentia is scouring Equestria looking for Twilight and Sunrise. She goes to lengths including extortion, torture, and murder.
- To convince a Canterlot noble that she isn't playing around, she kills one of his black-collar slaves (The Equestrians who still have their minds and are actively resisting).
- She kills Fluttershy and Rarity after learning that they had submitted willingly instead of helping Twilight during her resistance.
- When she finally discovers Twilight and Sunrise's bodies, she slaughters every man, woman, and child in Ponyville.
- The Power of Friendship: Largely subverted. Saronite seems to be resistant to friendship.
- The Power of Love: The power of love doesn't appear to exist in the universe, however love tends to drive the already omnipotent to go completely Ax-Crazy.
- Really 700 Years Old: Most Val'Kyr are significantly long lived. Ascentia is counted at roughly 900,000,000 years old.
- Smug Snake: King Dainn's arrogance barely hides the fact that he is a terrible leader who would have had absolutely no success were it not for the Crystal Heart.
- The Smurfette Principle: Averted. There are far more significant female characters than there are male characters, and the women are often given far more development time than the men. Even for minor characters.
- This is especially true with Ascentia, who started out as a token apprentice character and quickly became the Creator's Favorite.
- Take That: When King Dainn rants to Lord Ryder about how he will purge the weak so that only the strong may survive... Ryder proceeds to show him how weak he is in comparision to a Val'Kyr. As well as taunt him that his takeover of Equestria was fueled entirely by the treachery of Princess Cadance and the guerilla tactics of sneaking into Canterlot and brainwashing the guards. He then proceeds to call Dainn and his ilk cowards who are too weak to rule... and how they will be purged.
- Shout-Out: Tale of the Valkyrie is filled with them. See Massive Multiplayer Crossover above.
- Wuxia: The Siege of Canterlot.